A series of webinars organized by IUCN and the Alcoa Foundation over the past four weeks highlighted NGO success stories on sustainable action for renewable energy and energy efficiency, biodiversity and recycling in Europe. The three-part webinar series brought together representatives from Alcoa and NGOs from the IUCN membership network in Europe, to share their experiences and stimulate ideas for future collaboration and concrete action and were part of Alcoa’s and Alcoa Foundation’s ‘Green Works’ weeks.
The first webinar, which focused on sustainable energy, featured Joop Oude Lohuis from Natuur & Milieu, Netherlands and Nathalie Gilly, from APERe, Belgium. Joop Oude Lohuis set the scene by introducing the first Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, which represents an important step towards the creation of a robust energy and climate policy. Nathalie Gilly presented the EU-funded project EnergizAIR, which adds renewable indicators to weather forecasts, aiming to inform citizens across Europe how weather patterns affect the renewable energy potential of solar PV, solar thermal and wind energy sources.
During the second webinar on the topic of biodiversity, Emeline Bentz from Fondation Nicolas Hulot, spoke about the volunteering platform "J'agis pour la nature" which provides citizens with information about eco-volunteering opportunities across France. On average, the website attracts more than 5500 visitors per month and plays an important role in bringing volunteers and NGOs together for sustainable action. Santiago Garcia from Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre in Spain, shared his experiences with biodiversity conservation on the Western Iberian Peninsula. Fundacion Naturaleza y Hombre works in this part of Spain with a wide range of stakeholders to restore threatened habitats and species through the development of a private natural reserves network that supports land owners to establish an integrated approach to biodiversity conservation, habit restoration and land management.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In the final webinar on recycling, Julia Turner introduced WRAP, a UK-based organization which helps governments devise strategies to achieve the move away from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ economic model towards a circular economy. Peter Hulpiau from GoodPlanet Belgium shared his experiences of working to raise awareness of the importance of recycling through educational programmes which have reached thousands of school children across Belgium.
All three webinars provided a platform for lively exchange, creating a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for local sustainable action. The webinar series also presented an important step in increasing exchange between IUCN’s NGO community and Alcoa in Europe as a starting point for future collaboration.